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Ironman champ: Your mind matters more
Four-time World Ironman champion Chrissie Wellington says her mind is her greatest athletic tool.
July 13th, 2012
02:03 PM ET

Ironman champ: Your mind matters more

By Chrissie Wellington, Special to CNN

Editor's note: Chrissie Wellington is a four-time World Ironman champion and a guest coach for CNN's Fit Nation Tri Challenge. Her autobiography, "A Life Without Limits," is available on Amazon.

(CNN) - Of all the body parts we train, none is more important than the mind.

There is an obsession in triathlon with logbooks and data, with tracking how far and how fast we have gone in our latest session. People think that if their logbook is in order, then so must be their preparation.

But it's when the discomfort strikes that they realize a strong mind is the most powerful weapon of all.

This is more or less the first thing my coach said to me, even if his macabre observation that he needed to "cut my head off" was a somewhat unconventional means of conveying that message. I was fretful and obsessive when I first turned pro, running at everything like a bull out of a gate.

"The training you got a handle on," he told me. "The walking around in nerd land you have not. You get over that the same way as you improve an athletic weakness - by knowing and training it out. Life is nothing but a habit. Get to work."

I believe that it is my mind that has carried me through to some of my greatest victories - a mind that I have had to work hard to train and hone.

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Filed under: How we live • Sports • What we think • Women
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